Gracie Bradford in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF” w/@Nonnie Jules – #RRBC @IamXordinary


Hello, and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a bookshelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them.  We get personal!  Because when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!

Today, we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us,  RRBC member, GRACIE BRADFORD Gracie is our  2nd “SPOTLIGHT” Author of the new year!  It’s February and we have been celebrating her all month long.  This week, she gets to sit on the shelf with me!

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(Just as an FYI:  This year I will not be editing the responses of my guests.  I will post their responses to each interview question, just as they have written them.)

NJ:  Before we get started, Gracie, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf?  We’ve made it more comfortable in 2018, in that we want all of our guests to feel at home…that’s if they’re coming from a nice and neat one, and we also wanted the lay out to be a bit safer…. you know, we’ve had a few accidents up here on this shelf?  So, how does your tush feel on my cush?

Gracie:  {Silence}

NJ: Uh, Gracie?  Hmmm!    Well, Gracie, since you didn’t like my first question, hopefully this one “feels” a bit better.  Let’s start by confirming whether your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

Gracie:  {I can see this going in the wrong direction already.  The nerve of some people to ignore me! If she didn’t like me asking about her tush on my cush, she could have just said so!} Gracie Bradford is my maiden name. I do not have a separate pen name. Before retiring, my name was Gracie Specks.

NJ:  Now hold on a second, Ms. Gracie!  We’re a bit nosey (we prefer to call it curious) up on this shelf, but we certainly don’t want you to go spilling all your beans.  You know the kind STALKERS like to eat?  That was way too much information.  Now, without giving us your complete address, Gracie, please tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Gracie:  I was born in the country-side of Ruston, Louisiana. I left home when I finished college and moved to Fort Worth, Texas with my new husband. I now live in Pearland, Texas, a suburb of Houston, Texas.

NJ:  Yes, I know Pearland very well…actually, I have family there.  I did mention to you that, although raised in Louisiana,  I was born in Houston!  So, you’re in a great place!  Gracie, are you married or single?

Gracie:  I was married for 30 years but is now single (widowed). I love my single life. I get to do what I want when I want, and how I want. It is a more exciting lifestyle.

NJ:  Any kids?  If so, what kind

Gracie:  I had to laugh when you asked what kind of kids I have because I read your book. I can categorically say that they did not turn out like yours. They turned out okay but had their issues. I can tell you the sex of my kids. I can tell you their achievements in life. I can tell you their failures in life. So, I am choosing to say that my kind of kids could meet the definition of normal and are living productive lives. I have two grown children – a daughter and son. Both live in Houston, Texas. I have a 20-year old grandson who lives with me during college breaks. My son is a certified Vet Tech and serves as my subject-matter expert when I write plots about dogs. My daughter and I have an estranged relationship to say the least. After she married and inherited four step-children, she lost touch with the definition of family (smile).

3 Shocked dogs

NJ:  {Now, didn’t I just say that she was sharing way too much information?  Listen, although Gracie appears to be my most “sharing” guest yet, she has given new meaning to “open book” on this shelf.  Doesn’t appear that I’m going to have to “pry” her open at all.}  Gracie, although I’m teasing you a bit here, I must honestly say that it truly breaks my heart to know that a mother and daughter are estranged.  I love my daughters so fiercely, that the mere thought of me not being in their lives, causes me a physical pain.  I pray for you and your daughter’s re-connection.  So, tell us, if you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, which one will keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one will immediately throw you into a nursing home and only visit you at Christmas?

Gracie:  I am old in age by my grandson like to say that I am amazingly physical fit for my age. I would say that I am intermittently cranky only when I am forced to deal with procrastination. My grandson will keep me at home to care for me. My son would do the same but would hire in-home help. My daughter would be at the head of the line to sign papers to put me in a nursing home and I would not expect any visits.    

NJ:  Gracie, you’re breaking my heart, here.  Ok, any pets?  If so, what kind?

Gracie:  I don’t personally own any pets. However, I am a grandma and occasional babysitter for my son’s beagle and my grandson’s King Terrier. Both dogs run into the house, sits at my feet, and looks up at me with bubbly eyes. Those “looks” tell me that they want some attention. They know where I keep their treats and toys.

NJ:  What’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you pass on breakfast just to get to it?

Gracie:  Blue Bell Ice Cream. I am convinced that I am addictive to Blue Bell. When I get a craving for it, I will get up and go to the store at midnight to get ice cream. I try not to keep ice cream in my house because I will eat the whole container in one sitting.

NJ:  What’s your favorite color?

Gracie:  Royal Blue.

NJ:  That’s one of my faves, too!  Favorite sport?

Gracie:  Football and Basketball.

NJ:  Ooooooook, thanks for those TWO favorite sports…

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Gracie, what’s your ONE favorite TV Show?

Gracie:  I look at Rachel Maddow show every week-day. She has a research team that’s unbelievable. Her analyze of situations are beyond amazing. I am glued to the TV when her show airs then stay tuned to “Hard Ball” on MSNBC.

NJ:  Hahaha!  I love Rachel and Hard Ball, too!  Actually, I love them all on that network! Who’s your favorite actress and actor?

Gracie:  Julia Roberts/Morgan Freeman.

NJ:  Gracie, stop!  Julia Roberts is my favorite all-time everything!  She can do no wrong!  Uh oh, don’t look now, but we’re twinning!

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Gracie, do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind just letting it all go?

Gracie:  I hired a trainer at the fitness club after retirement for six months. Then, I force myself to get up and walk 3-5 miles daily. I watch what I eat to maintain my health. Do I like to exercise – No! Do I exercise because it is necessary – Yes!  However, during holidays, I just let it go. When I get a craving for sweets, I just let it all go.

NJ:  OK.  Well, I’m a fitness trainer by trade and can’t say that I’m into just letting it all go.  I have a husband that I’ve had for a very long time, and don’t want to run him off by “letting it all go,” so bravo to you, Gracie! That takes guts!  Now, please share with us your biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails?  {For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest, so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads.  Hey, just being honest.  It’s the only way I roll}.

Gracie:  I want to spit fire when I see young teens addicted to drugs and intoxicated from alcohol. I want to grab them and shake the life out of them and replace it with the blood of a child who knows that their body is a temple that must be respected.

NJ:  Good for you, Gracie!  It does take a village, doesn’t it, so you have my permission to grab those kids you see under such influences, and shake their little heads loose!  Oops, I’m sorry, I forgot we were LIVE.  Did anyone hear me say that?

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So, are you neat or messy, Gracie?

Gracie:  I am neat. When my grandson first arrives at home, he says I live in a dollhouse. But while he is home, he drops everything where it lands, typical college student. I fume and wait to clean up after he goes back to school. I tend to do the same thing when the dogs come over to visit.

NJ:  There you go with your bravery again.  There is no way that I could wait for someone to leave to clean up a mess.  My husband tells our guests:  “Please don’t sit your glass down because if you turn your back for a second, it’s already been washed and put away.”  All truth.  Gracie, which do you like best…Facebook or Twitter?

Gracie:  I use both Facebook and Twitter but prefer Twitter. I hate chain messages on Facebook. I dislike all the unnecessary crap that people post on Facebook. Although, I am as guilty as anyone but not as frequent. I get frustrated when someone writes a post about events or life crisis but do not say what it is. I have seen up to 50 replies of sympathy or congratulations on such posts.  I must swallow hard to keep from posting a nasty reply. I wonder about mothers who post every detail of their child’s upbringing on Facebook two to three times per day. Quite frankly, I don’t care that he/she is holding a spoon or playing with the dog, or learning to use the potty. I hope I do not sound unmotherly.

NJ:  As you may have noticed already, Gracie, I am totally opposed to over-sharing on social media, so I’ll have to agree with you on this.  Now, we’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships.  Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy?

Gracie:  I have connected with one of RRBC writers because I am intrigued by the books written by this author. I believe this author is honest and would not exploit the relationship.  I try to avoid making “real” friends on the internet. This author is an exception.

NJ:  Who do you favor most:  Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman? It’s OK to be honest, here. My feelings won’t be hurt at all if you choose WW 🙂

Gracie:  I do love Wonder Woman movies. I would not be able to identify a photo of Nonnie Jules, so I do not have a basis for comparison.

NJ:  OK, so you have to see something to believe that it’s real?  The question was more-so a “who do you like the most” kind of question.  Anyway, we all know that WonderWoman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has…well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not.  In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place?  You can be honest here, too.

Gracie:  Wonder Woman is a fictional character whereas Nonnie Jules is a real person. Wonder Woman delivers her message through theater while Nonnie Jules delivers her truth through the written word. I prefer direct honesty from a real human over a fictional character. So Nonnie would get my vote over the lasso, although sometimes I think Nonnie is too honest.

NJ:  First, Gracie, I am going to THANK YOU for that as I take it as a very high compliment!  Secondly, there is no such thing as being TOO HONEST.  Now, please name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read.

Gracie:  My first and favorite Indie book read was written my Linda Mims, “The Neon Houses.” My second book written by an Indie author was written by Harmony Kent,  “Finding Katie.”

NJ:  ONE good INDIE book you’ve read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it…

Gracie:  I have read so many good books within 2017.The one book I read that I wish the entire medical community and others would read is Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage and Hope by Kathryn Treat.  No one will believe a person suffered so much pain and the medical community could not diagnosis the person.  I would like to see readers select and read more Indie books.

Allergic To Life

NJ:  What was so great about the book?

Gracie:  This book was great because it holds the reader’ attention. Even though a non-fiction, it was an unbelievable journey.  She never gave up. Her courage was astonishing and mindboggling. It is one of those books that the author wishes the reader would not put down until they reach the end.

NJ:  Gracie, I’m so happy that you chose Kathryn’s book for that recognition.  For those of you who don’t know, Kathryn C. Treat was our 1st ever Membership Director here at RRBC.  She was our family and she was our friend.  She loved RRBC and would be so proud of where it is today.  Kathryn passed away on December 21, 2014 right after leaving our online Christmas party.  We honor and keep her memory alive as much as we can, so I ask that you click the link above with her name, and please do pick up this book.  It is an unbelievable story.  Gracie, after you read books, do you post reviews?

Gracie:  I do write reviews after reading books. I became an official book reviewer for an organization two years ago, so I tend to treat all books as if they should be read and a review written. I have read books across the spectrum that range from poorly written to very good. I tend to focus on the story itself first even though I have a list of criteria that I address in my reviews. Since joining RRBC, my “to read” list have grown beyond my ability to keep up.

NJ:  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Gracie:  Reviews should be written on cover appearance, formatting, marketability, plot, development and overall quality of the story itself. Readers should base their reviews on these traits.

NJ:  Cover appearance?  WOW!  That’s a new one for me, Gracie.  My standards are high and extremely strict but I’m not judging a book by its cover.  Now, what lies behind the cover…that’s what matters.  So, are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

Gracie:  If I am not being honest, I am not doing a service to the author. Every author desires performance improvement with each publication. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the reviewer to write a review with the intent to help the author improve and to get an audience to buy the book.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Gracie:  Yes, but I choose not to identify them. I do send a written summary to the author with suggested improvements.

NJ:  Good!  Because I don’t ask my guests to identify those books publicly.  How many poorly written books would you say you’ve read that you gave a high mark to in your review, when you knew it was horrible?  Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books. 

Gracie:  I don’t give a high rating to a book unless I stay up all night reading and can’t put the book down. When I do a former review, I write up to 4 pages because I will identify everything that I saw as being wrong and keep in my journey in case the author requests additional information. If I know how to contact the writer, I will messenger the author with a list of corrections noted.  I hate to see reviews that say something is wrong with the book in a generic sense but do not give the author specific input on what needs to be corrected.

NJ:  I agree that reviewers should point out some of what they found wrong in a read, but, it is not the reader/reviewer’s job to detail every single thing they found wrong with a book.  I mean, who has that kind of time?  Also, that’s a job for a professional editor.  Gracie, are you an author?  If so, are you a good one?  C’mon, we love honesty here.

Gracie:  I am an author and believe that I have good stories to tell.  However, I have an issue with that first person, second person, third person thing. What’s in my head may not always come out on the paper the way it is running around in my head.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Gracie:  Since 2012

NJ:  Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?

Gracie:  I welcome constructive criticism if the criticism is about the work and not criticism of me as a person.

NJ:  Good response, Gracie!  Now, please give us the name of a book that you’ve written? June the Prune and Lady Bird – Cancer Stinks!

June the Prune and Lady Bird by Gracie Bradford

 

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?  I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?

Gracie:  I do have a blog (www.free1592.wordpress.com) in its infant stage. I haven’t taken the time to add the necessary improvements for me to say it is a great blog because I did everything on my own time. I was self-taught and did not use a professional. I am still determining my audience and what direction I want to take my blog. I have set a goal for 2018 to post on my blog at least twice per week. I would say that my website is average. It gets the message across that I want to convey. (www.authorgraciebradford.com). I welcome any suggestions for improvement.

NJ:  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Gracie:  I was not aware of virtual book clubs until I discovered RRBC online. I have learned a great deal networking as a member of Rave Review Book Club as well as participating in the virtual conferences, radio programs, and chats. Being able to connect with blogs of RRBC members provides a good learning experience.

NJ:  How were you helped by them?

Gracie:  I have received honest book reviews for my book from RRBC as well as marketing assistance for my books. I have learned about media apps that make writing easier. Interacting with international authors has been fabulous. When I was accepted into the VIP lounge, I did not know what to expect. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this lounge. I have won Amazon gift cards through RRBC member benefits activities making it possible to purchase more RRBC members books. Secret Santa and the VIP Lounge make me feel like I am a part of a family.

NJ:  We’re so happy that you feel part of this family because that is exactly how we see you, as our family member!  Gracie, since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?

Gracie:  The club is a refreshing addition to my resource library. I love the many things the club plans for its members. It’s a plus to be able to see names I recognize respond to my tweets.

NJ:  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

Gracie:  I came across one, but it does not come close to RRBC. It is more into making money and not providing resources for its members to grow and develop nor does it provide networking opportunities.

NJ:  Would you recommend us to your friends and family?

Gracie:  I would recommend the RRBC club to others but not the other online entity.

NJ:  What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC?  (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)

Gracie:  I think my favorite program is the Writers’ Conference & Book Expo. I attended my first one in 2017 and was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the presentations. Since this occurs once yearly, I will choose Books of the Month discussions as this is on-going throughout the year.

NJ:  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words for our guests today, Gracie?

Gracie:  The fingers are getting tired and sleepy, so it is time to say good night. The one thing that I would like to say about RRBC is that you create incredible programs with a limited amount of staff you have available to help keep us competitive in the literary community. Thanks for the opportunity to complete this interview.

NJ:  Gracie, thank you so much for hanging out on THE SHELF with us today, giving us the most candid of interviews!  And, thanks for being an awesome member! This has been so much fun!  Not once did you come close to having an accident!  That’s an amazing feat.

To my guests, please pick up a copy of Gracie’s  book.

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And, since Gracie was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.

I’ll see you next month, right here on the “SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!

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28 responses

  1. This interview made me laugh many times. Nonnie and Gracie feel like old friends (and I use the word ‘old’ very loosely). 😉 It was great learning more about you, Gracie! I look forward to reading your book. 🙂

    Like

  2. It was such a wonderful month of learning more about you, Gracie. This interview is no different.

    Like

  3. Shirley Harris-Slaughter | Reply

    Hi Maretha. Good to see you again and doing well. Reblogging is a good way to share.

    Like

  4. Great post, Gracie and Nonnie! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you this month, Gracie. And I can’t have ice cream in the house because it disappears as fast as it comes in!

    Like

  5. This month I’ve enjoyed learning more about you, Gracie, and Nonnie’s interview tops this off beautifully . Best wishes with your books.

    Like

  6. Very informative interview Gracie – thank you for sharing! Best of luck with your books – MikeL

    Like

  7. Verwayne Greenhoe | Reply

    Interesting interview. Great ‘back and forth!’ I’ll check out your story Gracie! I like the name, ‘June The Prune.” A memorable name to be sure!
    V

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Shirley Harris-Slaughter | Reply

    One more thing I wanted to respond to, Gracie, and that’s your issue with Facebook postings asking for prayers for the sick and/or dying. My pet peeve is the same as yours. I have even asked a relative what happened and all I got was a “like” on my question. “Are you kidding me?” That is bad etiquette in a nutshell. And asking someone to connect with you and not saying one word about who you are or why you want to connect is an issue as well. And all you facebook members who have friended me, with the exception of a couple, you do not support RRBC members that I post. I don’t understand that. The person being promoted is not getting support if you don’t at least like or comment to help promote and propel them or share the post.

    OK, I’m done. lol.

    Like

  9. Hello! Wonderful interview, Nonnie and Gracie! You were definitely an open book, Gracie!😲 I enjoyed getting to know you better and appreciate everything you shared with us. Thank you!😊💕

    Like

  10. Great interview, lots of insight and fun! Congrats again Gracie.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Loved the interview with Gracie Bradford. Fun and fascinating! 🙂 Sharing…

    Like

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview. It’s a pleasure learning more about Gracie. I always look forward to the banter in these posts. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Loved your candid interview and enjoyed learning more about you, Gracie.

    Like

  14. Shirley Harris-Slaughter | Reply

    What an interesting interview. And NJ, I can see that you didn’t do any editing. I get writing fast and getting ahead of your thoughts where you would need someone to double check your writing. In spite of that, Gracie gave some deep answers such as the one about reviewing and editing a book. I agree with NJ, you shouldn’t have to become an editor yourself when you point out errors. It is up to an editor to take care of it. That’s why they get paid. Finding a good one is the trick.

    I was just as amazed by Kathryn C. Treat’s story as Gracie was, and did a review of her book on a blog post. I was in awe of how Kathryn kept track of everything she endured. That’s why it was such a fantastic read.

    Thank you Gracie for sharing a little bit more about you; and thank you NJ for presenting her.

    Like

  15. I like your candor and your honesty, Gracie. You make a great Spotlight Author and you remind me a little of Nonnie. Thank you for the “Neon” mention. Great interview, Ms. Jules.😄

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is very refreshing! I thoroughly enjoy the banter! 😎. Congrats to both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joy. You never know what to expect from On The Shelf With Nonnie. I loved the banter.

      Like

  17. Another insightful interview on Nonnie’s shelf. Gracie, I loved your honest answers. It was great to get to know you better. Enjoy your spotlight!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jan. I have enjoyed my spotlight for this month. Congratulations on the re-release of your book.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. So very nice to meet a fellow Texan, Gracie. What a fun interview! Blessings in your writing journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Brenda. I am glad you enjoyed the interview. It was fun answering these questions at midnight.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Gracie, it’s been a joy following your tour. This interview was a treat, as well. Thanks to you and Nonnie. 🙂
    I hope you’re enjoying a fabulous month in the Spotlight. Cheers to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Natalie. I have enjoyed the month. I appreciate your support through re-tweets.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Billy. Now that you know a little more about me, which of your 13 books would you recommend that I read first? I love your profile introduction.

      Like

  20. Reblogged this on About Fauna Park Tales and commented:
    Thanks so much for having Gracie Bradford on your shelf! I’m reblogging your interview to my children’s blog at Fauna Park Tales, Nonnie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Maretha for the reblogging. This has been a whirlwind week. I have enjoyed the spotlight. What book are you working on now?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d a grinding halt to 2017 and the beginning of 2018 was slow – had a few spinal problems to deal with. However, the neurosurgeons are trying their best to keep me on my feet and for that, I’m grateful. I hope to continue working on Book five of Fauna Park Tales, as well as release a few short stories to do with our dear, beloved pets. And you, anything new I can look forward to reading soon?

        Liked by 1 person

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